Tender for High Point en bloc sale to close on Jul 28 as interest from developers perks up

Jun 21, 2022

FREEHOLD condominium High Point in the prime Orchard Road area will close its en bloc tender on Jul 28 after the interest level in “super prime residential sites” picked up, said sole marketing agent, Savills.

The condominium at 30 Mount Elizabeth was put back on the collective sale market in March, 3 months after Hong Kong-listed Shun Tak Holdings backed out of a S$556.7 million winning bid for the site.

The S$550 million guide price for the prime District 9 site remained unchanged from when the previous tender was launched in October last year, and works out to S$2,508 per square foot per plot ratio (psf ppr), after factoring in the 7 per cent bonus gross floor area (GFA) for balconies, and includes development charges of S$18.8 million.

While Shun Tak did not respond to press queries at the time, market watchers said that property cooling measures announced a week after the winning bid was revealed on Dec 9 could have been a deterring factor.

The last round of measures included raising additional buyer's stamp duty (ABSD) rates for foreign buyers - the main customers for luxury condos here - to 30 per cent from 20 per cent.

When the sale was relaunched, Savills had said that a tender closing date will be set when it has received confirmed interest from a developer.

In a news release on Tuesday (Jun 21), Jeremy Lake, Savills managing director for investment sales and capital markets, said that after launching the public tender in March, the agency had been in constant contact with developers and “the interest level in super prime residential sites has picked up”.

“A few foreign developers have also visited Singapore since the travel restrictions were eased. Accordingly, we have decided to set the closing date on Jul 28.”

He added that one “unforeseen consequence” of the latest cooling measures is that it will be harder to achieve the 80 per cent mandate for many future en bloc projects, particularly in the Core Central Region where foreign ownership is much higher.

“This is because foreign owners will have to pay a higher ABSD when they buy a replacement property and accordingly, they may be less keen to join in the collective sale,” he explained, adding that the supply of prime sites for sale will be “extremely low” in future and consequently, lead to a “highly constrained” supply of new ultra-luxurious condominiums.

Located within walking distance to Paragon Shopping Centre and other amenities on Orchard Road, High Point is a 22-storey tower comprising 57 apartments and 2 penthouses. The apartments are about 268 square metres (2,885 square feet) and 272 sq m (2,928 sq ft) in size, while the 2 penthouses are about 589 sq m (6,340 sq ft) and 592 sq m (6,372 sq ft).

Back in 2019, its owners also attempted a collective sale with a price tag of S$550 million.

Under the 2019 Master Plan, the 47,606 sq ft site is zoned “Residential” with an allowable gross plot ratio of 2.8 and has a height control of up to 36-storeys. High Point has an existing verified GFA of approximately 211,976 sq ft, based on a plot ratio of 4.45. In addition, the development baseline is about 213,383 sq ft with a plot ratio of 4.48.

According to Savills, the site can be redeveloped into an ultra-luxurious development of up to 98 units, assuming an average size of about 200 sq m (2,153 sq ft) per unit.

Alternatively, developers may choose to build even larger units to cater to the new demand from ultra-high-net-worth foreign buyers who have been actively buying in Singapore for the last 12 months or so.

Savills also noted that according to the Urban Redevelopment Authority, Park Nova in Tomlinson Road - Shun Tak’s debut Singapore residential project - has sold 37 out of 54 units, with the average selling price for the units since June 2021 being S$4,815 psf.